Great Walls, Tremendous Walls

All humans are genetically 99.9 per cent identical.”
                                —Roger Highfield, Science Editor


Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, a poet said
imagining friendly neighbors working their way
along that which stood between, resetting
fallen gneiss and granite loaves and balls  
that had fallen to each to keep their wall intact
while one questioned the irony of friendly walls
and the other made a prima facie case
for an inherent friendliness in their practicality.

And so we’ve had walls and walls remain
not of stone but of blood and bone,
walls built of double helixes spiraling through time,
hydrogen-mortared pairs of adenine,
guanine, cytosine, thymine,

smaller than any past poet’s wall-builder might imagine,
but centuries stronger than Hadrian’s real
or Alexander’s mythic one which lock
the Gogs and Magogs of alien tribes
behind stone or iron barriers to keep the builders safe
from differences that barely exist in the protein hieroglyphics
of the nature-made chemical bonds of a double helix
making us Gogs and Magogs of each other
as we spiral through worlds hurting and killing
to uphold our imagination’s chronic beliefs
in quixotic walls and spurious distinctions
which heap between us grudges and griefs

Jim Culleny

Gog and Magog